Busmans weekend.

As a fulltime professional its not often I get to go stalking on my own, but as I needed to visit the estate in West Sussex to check on a few things and meet up with one of my guides to discuss the forth coming winter season, I decided to stay overnight in the bothy and take my rifle to hopefully put a Fallow pricket in the freezer.

Friday afternoon drive down to the estate produced some horrendous rain storms and high winds on the M20/M25 and at one point I had to pull into the services as the rain was hitting the road so hard it made driving in heavy traffic a nightmare, and besides I wasn't in any hurry.

On arrival at the estate the rain had eased off and the evening looked promising with clear skies coming through on a decreasing westerly wind. Having made a cuppa I looked in at the larder and prep room as one of the guides had asked to put 3 Roe he had taken the night before, from his own patch into the chiller. Two cull heads and a nice long thick head, but not very heavy. This seems to be the trend this season down here. Good length on the heads but not carrying the weight so much.

I decided to go for a stroll early and visited a small farm I have off the main estate. On arrival I was met by the gardener who wanted to chat for a while. He told me that he had seen quite a few deer moving about, and as I looked down one of the main fields I could see that two Roe had just appeared from the shelter belt at the bottom of the field. They turned out to be does, so I left them in peace, no buck either.

After an hour of walking around two fields and checking the headlands, I could see that there had been plenty of Roe out as the area had been recently mown and about every 100yds was fresh droppings. However I decided to move to the main estate and to the far end to see what might be about.

On arrival the wind had died down considerably and with the sun out the temperature had started to rise again. Nothing showed to begin with, apart form a nice mature doe which I had spotted laying down against a hedge enjoying the late afternoon sun and obviously drying off after the afternoons rain.

Moving back to the truck after viewing 3 small hay meadows I spotted in the far corner of a much larger field two Roe. One was certainly a buck and seemed to have a decent enough head, although very grey in the face. I decided to stalk nearer as it was a good 400yds away and the wind was perfect for my approach from the side of them.
Moving through the first hedge to get into the field they were on, I looked around the corner to see that they had decided to move slightly further into the edge of the field. So using the hedge line I managed to make up the distance to about 120yds. Near enough to get a good look at them both, as I was undecided whether to take him should the opportunity be available.

The buck had decided to lay down and I could see that the antlers although had length, they were thin looking and his face very grey. Within a few minutes he rose from his bed and decided to graze briefly while walking back into the edge. I could see through the scope that he was not carrying a lot of weight on his back at all, and look quite thin. I decided to cull him out, and gave a quick whistle as he presented himself with a perfect broadside shot.

Taking the shot he turned and walked towards me before trotting off into the shelter belt/come hedge on my right. An unusual reaction to the shot, which was from a 150g 308. None the less I was convinced I had not missed him and continued after a few minutes to walk along the hedgeline only to find him stone dead exactly where I had seen him go in. The shot was perfect chest straight through both lungs and no meat damage.

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I called my friend and guide up as he had tried calling me previous to shooting the buck as we were going over to his patch nearby to take some more Roe off. After a removing the green and bleeding I carried the buck over the field and met my friend at the far side. A quick trip back to the larder and then off to his place about 10 minutes away.

On arrival we moved into a large field that rises to a wood on the right hand side. No sooner had I loaded my rifle when he whispered to me that a buck was coming down the hedge line in front of us and slightly to our right. Having looked at the buck it was carrying an unusual head, and we decided to take him out. Getting a cross hair on him was not that difficult as he was out in the field about 80yds from the edge. We had cover from behind a large mount of earth on our right, but I had to move out slightly as he had decided to start walking to his left, and before long I would not see him due to the huge earth mount on my right. So moving the stick gently I presented the rifle again. I have a fair idea that he must have picked up the movement, as he suddenly stopped and looked in my direction. He was quartering and looking straight at me, so I put the crosshairs on his shoulder and took the shot. The buck jumped in the air ran about 30yds and dropped.
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A most unusual head indeed, and no outward sign of an old injury on the body. Having checked all of the major lymph system it appeared it must have been damaged whilst in velvet. Either way a good cull buck and he will be cleaned out and go on the wall as a skull mount. Nothing more showed and with failing light we called it a night.

Up the next day at 5am I decided to try for a Fallow to put in my freezer. There are a good few about at the moment, the estate manager nearby where I stay counted 50plus in his garden last week :rolleyes:
A quick stroll from the bothy I spotted 3 out on the nearby lawn, one pricket and a doe with a fawn. However the doe was not having any of it and moved off as I was moving into a shooting position, quickly followed by the other two beasts. Never mind.

Within about 100yds and turning a corner along the edge of a plantation I spotted the back of a Fallow about 60yds away. I put the sticks up and waited to see what might move into full view. Luck was on my side as a young buck with a doe moved into full view, and closed the gap between me and them to less than 50yds. The buck stopped suddenly head on as it had picked me up, but it was too late for him and although I am not a great advocate of head shots, I took him head on and he dropped on the spot. Just what I wanted for my freezer.

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Skinned and hung in the chiller whilst I had breakfast in the bothy. The morning was still and it felt very much like autumn in some ways as it was misty and still outside with a slight hint of a chill. The sunshine was streaming through the trees and it everything had a very quiet feel about it.

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Sorry about the pictures don't know why they are round the wrong way :-|

Anyway a good 2 outings, and getting ready for the highlands and a very busy winter all round. Hope you have all had good luck and fortune with the Roe Buck season.
 

Uncle f

Well-Known Member
Lovely write up malc. Strange head on that roe mate. What could cause that do you think? Increase on testosterone levels possibly.

Well done enjoyed reading that

Steve
 

takbok

Well-Known Member
Glad your outings were so successful. Well earned after taking other folks out so much I'm sure.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
Hello Malc

Thank you for sharing your exploits and well done taking time out for you.
Unusual Roe head to say the least - always interesting these 'oddities'.

L
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
Nice day out! Thanks for the write up. Not managed to get out much myself this year so enjoy reading people's exploits.
Do you know a decent guy to mount the malform for you!!!
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Happy days, good shooting. Wait for the 'you shouldn't take headshots' lol:stir::stir:

I should add that I am not an advocate for taking head shots. I have taken this kind of shot very, very, occasionally. And like I mentioned if the animal is within 50yds, (in this instance less than that) is facing you head on, or looking straight away, it is hit or miss and if you hit it, it is not going anywhere. I do not take this kind of shot under any other circumstances, I have seen a few heads shots go badly wrong (sometime ago now) and any side on head shot can be an accident waiting to happen, no matter how good you think you are.
 
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